When it comes to making an online business successful, there are a number of internet marketing strategies to choose from. Among the most popularly used ones are article marketing, pay-per-click advertising, forum marketing, and email marketing. To achieve success through these internet marketing platforms, an online business owner needs to diligently track click-through and conversion rates. The more people are converted into actual paying customers, the more successful these platforms are considered to be.

Today, social media sites have become popular among internet users. It is for this reason that they have also become very attractive platforms for internet marketers. Through such sites, online business owners can easily reach out to a wide variety of active internet users and attract them through more engaging means. Among the most popularly used social media platforms are video sharing and social networking websites.

1) Video Sharing

Video sharing websites like YouTube have become known as the launching pad for aspiring artists, directors, singers, comedians, and other performers. However, online businesses have much to gain from such sites too. In fact, many business owners have achieved success solely because they made it a point to produce entertaining yet professional videos and posted them on video sharing sites for internet users to view. Product demonstrations that highlight benefits to customers have become quite popular as well.

Good videos become popular on video sharing sites not only because there are already a number of users looking out for new videos but also because these sites have made it easier for videos to be spread virally. They can be easily be tagged as favorites so that more users will be prompted to view them. Videos are also easily shared through social bookmarking and social networking sites as well as through email. Furthermore, should a video be relevant to other people’s businesses, they can easily be published in other websites and blogs. Because online business owners have higher potential to attract people online as well as allow its offerings to spread virally, video marketing has proven to be a crucial element in any internet marketing campaign.

If videos are attractive or interesting enough, people can leave comments that online business owners can read through to gain consumer insights on their offerings.

2) Social Networking

Online business owners can use social networking sites as an alternative to email marketing campaigns. It is through these sites that internet marketers can regularly share relevant content that can engage users enough to prompt them to follow the brand or make it a part of their network.

Logging in to social networking sites everyday has practically become a way of life for many internet users. Using these sites to promote an online business, however, is not as simple as building a network of random people and advertising products and services to them. Online business owners should treat such sites as a means to build relationships with users rather than as just another advertising medium. Similar to video sharing websites, social networking sites can prove to be one of the most invaluable sources of customer feedback for any business.

Through such sites, internet marketers can encourage comments from users and converse directly with people within their network. They can then gain powerful consumer insights as well as manage the reputation of their online businesses. What is even more attractive to internet marketers is that being active in social networking sites gives their brand a higher potential to spread virally among people who share the same interest. This, consequently, allows them to spend less on brand building and customer acquisition.

With today’s popularity of social media, internet marketers can now direct more of their focus and energy on branding and building a solid reputation for their online businesses. For this reason, click-through and conversion rates are considered only as secondary means to track success. More important are the number of conversations incited around the brand and the business’ offerings as well as the number of followers gathered through these platforms. The idea is to get more and more people to talk about an online business and keep the brand at the top of their minds so that internet users will be more likely to patronize it or to share it with other people.

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The task of building a list of subscribers for email marketing isn’t too difficult if you already have a website that has engaging content and decent traffic. However, your visitors won’t just decide to sign up just because you give them an option to. There are ways to optimize your site for the purpose of building your subscriber list without compromising its current state and making it look like just another sales page. To help you use your website to build your subscriber list for email marketing, consider the tips discussed below:

1) Make Your Sign-Up Form Visible

  The first step to getting sign ups for email marketing is to let your visitors know that they have an option to subscribe for more information. For this reason, you need to make it easy for them to find your sign-up form. If possible, you should position it in a way that it is visible no matter which part of your site a visitor is viewing.

2) Provide Incentives to Subscribers

 All internet users have become wary of signing up with their email addresses because of the many ways it can be used for activities unfavorable to them. This is why getting them to subscribe to your mailing list can bring up concerns for privacy. To put such privacy concerns to rest, you need to give your website visitors powerful incentives to subscribe. For this reason, statements like “Register to Receive Our Weekly Newsletter” or “Sign Up for More Information” will no longer be enough to gain subscribers for email marketing. You will need to experiment with different statements and incentives in order to find exactly what it is that will work for your specific target audience.

3) Minimize Required Fields

Although getting as much information as you can from your subscribers will allow you to fully customize your email marketing campaign for each of them, it may not be a good idea to ask for too much information right away. If your subscription form requires too many fields, potential subscribers may easily be turned off and refuse to fill it up. Generally, all you really need to ask for is the subscriber’s name and email address.

4) Send an Email at Once

To manage expectations, immediately send emails to all those that subscribe. These emails should contain everything new subscribers can expect from your newsletter. The same email should contain instructions that will allow new subscribers to confirm their email addresses. This will help you make sure that all the email addresses in your mailing list are valid and all those who subscribed are actually interested in what you have to offer. Doing this will help you avoid statistical nightmares when tracking the results of your email marketing campaign.

Always remember that visitors won’t subscribe to your newsletters just because a sign up form is available on your site. You need to woo them with incentives, entice them with proper communication strategies, and make it easy for them to sign up for your newsletter. As long as you keep all these in mind, you can make good use of your website to gain subscribers for email marketing.

Many an aspirant writer has toyed with the idea of writing a blog and many millions get going. After a slow start in the late 1990s, blogs caught on – but today they are no longer the simple online diary or weblog of old. 

 

The terrain of the blogosphere has changed radically. Blogs are now a focus of social media marketing and sales pitches. Microblogging via Twitter the current big thing. For some the blog has lost its innocence and with it much of its charm. For others, blogging presents all sorts of opportunities, from democratizing journalism to flogging goods. Anyone contemplating starting a blog today would do well to get a grip on how different – and how difficult – successful blogging is now.

 

Beginner bloggers may have started out on one of the many free blog-hosting websites (such as Blogger, WordPress and similar), lovingly crafted their post and sat back, only to realize that no-one has read it. Some give up. Others investigate, only to discover that for their blog to reach a readership they will have to divert time away from writing and put it into search engine optimization, link-building, directory listings and other methods of self-promotion.

 

Obviously those with the time, energy and motivation have the edge. The sad thing about the blogosphere is that those people are often those with something to sell. They will be skilled in putting their blogs forward, while Joe Bloggs languishes in obscurity at the bottom of the rankings, swamped by professional competition.

 

 

Blogs can be still be worthwhile for amateur bloggers. A blog designed for the entertainment of your circle of friends and family is still a great way to keep in touch. If the writing is good enough, it may pick up a following beyond that, through word of mouth. Quality still rises to the top amongst in the ocean of trashy content that the internet can, with some justification, be described as.

 

There are some simple strategies for those who aren’t overly ambitious to improve their profile. The biggest mistake beginner bloggers make is to define their blog too broadly. A targeted blog, focusing on niche subject matter (cats, cars, political commentary or whatever) has the best chance of floating.

 

The online journal is no longer a novelty and average lives aren’t of interest unless your life has something special to convey. If so, your blog could catch on. Think of Nightjack, a British police officer who won awards for his blog about his experiences in law enforcement – for a while (see below).

 

A little bit of SEO (search engine optimization) isn’t too arduous. Choosing a few keywords and attending to tags doesn’t take much time. Listing with directories and indexes (Technorati is a well-known name) can’t hurt. Joining a blogging community can help – after all, if you don’t read and respond to other people’s blogs, why should they bother with yours? But the fact remains that to gain a wide readership you either have to have something reasonably spectacular to offer or a lot of time to spend on promotion.

Blogging gets people into all sorts of trouble. Oppressive regimes persecute bloggers. Blogging about work regularly opens the door to disaster. The award-winning police blogger known as Nightjack was outed by the press and subjected to disciplinary proceedings. In a recent case, insults about a model led to the disclosure of the blogger’s identity and a lawyer’s banquet. Exposing your personal life can be dangerous, even if you remain anonymous.

If you’re prepared to walk the walk as well as talk the talk, blogging can make your career or be a vastly satisfying pastime. As a business tool, blogging has become a serious option, in tandem with the trend of using social networking sites to promote your products or views. A blog is a chance to show the human face of your business and keep up your search engine ranking with a regular injection of the fresh content that the search engines value highly.

 A hundred million people can’t be wrong about the power of the blog. Some blogs are today’s literature, and show history in the making. The blogosphere may not be the land it was, but it’s still worth trying your hand at it, as long as you know what you’re in for. A blog on one of the major providers’ sites gives you a platform to express yourself that is almost as versatile as a website, but needn’t cost a cent.